The Congress said that Sherman Ali Ahmed was suspended for repeatedly violating party discipline.

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The Assam Congress today suspended its MLA, Sherman Ali Ahmed, days after he was arrested for making provocative statements on an eviction drive around 40 years ago. In a one-line statement, Congress said that it has suspended Mr Ahmed with immediate effect for repeatedly violating party discipline.

The Congress had earlier served a show-cause notice to the three-time MLA from Baghbar for justifying the killing of eight people during an agitation in Darrang district in 1983. He called the eight people, seen as martyrs of agitation in the Assamese society, “murderers”.

Mr Ahmed apparently made the remarks while reacting to last month’s eviction drive in the district that left two persons dead. The eviction drive was carried at four places in Dholpur, about 9 km from Sipajhar, on September 20, and nearly 800 families – most of whom were Bengali-speaking Muslims – were removed from 4,500 bighas of land the government claimed ownership for.

His comment has evoked strong reactions across Assam and multiple FIRs have been filed against him. Mr Ahmed was later arrested from his official residence in Guwahati on October 2.

In its show-cause notice, the Assam Congress has accused MLA Sherman Ali Ahmed of making “politically motivated” statements “with the intention of damaging the party’s image” ahead of the bypolls in the state.

It also said that allegations are rife within the party and even outside that Ahmed is acting as an “agent of the BJP”, and that due to his closeness to the chief minister, he is being sponsored to make such comments to cause harm to the Congress, especially during elections.

The recent eviction drive that was carried out at Gorukhuti in Darrang district had turned violent, leaving at least two persons dead in police firing and several others injured in clashes.

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